Slow start dooms Knights on the Road
Entering Wednesday, traveling to a hostile rink on a weeknight would prove to be a good test of the Knights collective mettle as they attempted to narrow the gap between themselves and the New Jersey Titans.
Circumstances would prove to be as trying as anticipated as the Knights quickly found themselves in a 2-0 hole to New Jersey less than 20 minutes into the contest. The first strike came off Anthony Cusanelli’s 13th goal of the year. The ‘96 birth year bested Knights netminder Matteo Esposito with help from Danny Eruzione (22) and Kyle Perkowski (7) on the assists.
Fresh off a trade from the Johnstown Tomahawks, Tiernan Seningen would score his second goal of the season and first with the Titans just 1:56 later with helpers coming from Jordan Kaplan (21) and Dylan Healey (12).
The Knights would finally catch a break late in the period when Nick Boyagian would be sent off to the box for roughing at 19:20. The penalty would carry over into the second, where Curtis Carlson would get things started with a power play goal just 30 seconds into the period. The score was Carlson’s 9th of the season and came off Joe Schuler’s 7th assist.
The Titans would not allow much time for celebration as at 2:50 Jordan Kaplan would bury his 10th goal of the season set up by Seningen (6) and Ryan Wheeler (15). A near 12 minutes of physical, scoreless play would follow, broken finally by Sam Antonitsch’s backhand flip of the puck over New Jersey netminder Brandon Perrone. Again, the Titans were quick to respond, this time off the effort of Maxim Andreev notching his 10th goal of the year at 18:07. Jim Elser capped the furious period with the Knights third goal of the game at 19:02.
Elser would keep his hot streak going, scoring his seventh goal of the season, tying the game at four just 36 seconds into the third period off Joe Schuler’s assist. The latter Knight, fresh off winning East Division Star of the Week, now has two goals and four assists in his last three games.
Much like the second, the middle portion of the period would again find itself lacking in goals. Unlike the second period, the frame was filled with penalties. Three infractions the three subsequent advantages (one for the Knights, two for the Titans) would come and go before Ryan Wheeler finally broke the gridlock at 14:31. With his sixth tally of the season, Wheeler would give the Titans the lead for good as Perrone would be hold on to the flurry of shots sent his way in the game’s final minutes. This despite a late Knights power play and the extra attacker on for the goalie. When the dust had settled, Perrone came away with 33 saves on 37 shots on goal for the game.
The two teams will rematch in the Knights next game which will take place at home at the Revolution Ice Centre on Sunday January 22nd at 2:00 pm.